Rory Burns and Dan Lawrence scored half-centuries of fighting as the hosts recovered from a mid-inning swing to reach 258 for seven on the stumps on day one in front of a boisterous crowd of around 18,000.
The Hollies Stand was in good spirits throughout day one with plenty of liquid refreshments consumed, and there is no doubt that it will be noisy again on day two with better weather in store.
This game is a balanced one – England will be desperate to win over 50 more on what feels like decent ground, while the visitors will want to wrap up those final three wickets quickly and then jump into a first leg.
Burns and Lawrence both impressed, with Surrey’s opener battling as the fragile England batting team crumbled around him. He looked set to reach a fourth century of testing, but fell 19 points, caught by the substitute skipper Tom Latham off Trent Boult.
Boult (2-60) struck out James Bracey with the first ball in his next round to leave England struggling at 175 for six after winning the draw and getting off to a good start. But Lawrence (67 not withdrawn) stabilized the ship, with first Olly Stone (20), then Mark Wood (16 not withdrawn) giving him solid support before the close.
“It was a pretty tough day, but it was even enough at the end,” Burns told Sky Sports. “Dan played really well and put us back well. There is something in the surface for everyone.
“They came back hard towards us after lunch. It’s rocked a bit more, whether it’s overhead conditions or the surface, we’ll have to see when we play.
“We have three wickets left to add as many tracks as possible and I hope Dan can continue. Then we will see with the ball. Let’s have a good day tomorrow, ”added Burns. Reuters